27/05/2000 – CONGO – FOREFRONT URGENT ACTION. Arrestation de l’équipe de la Voix des Sans Voix.

Date: May 25, 2000

Member: Floribert Chebeya and staff of Voix de sans
Voix (“Voice of the Voiceless”)

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Staff of VSV also at risk: Mr. Justin Chiba Senge;
Mr. Peter Ntumba
Mr. Doly Ibefo Mbunga; Mr. Oliver Kungwa
Murhandikire
Mr. Honore Kapuku Mushila; Mr. Leon Kasongo
Omasumbu
Mr. Timothe Dikuiza Benze; Mr. Fidele Bazana
E
Ms. Micheline Mapangala Pe; ms. Eguyna Khady
Mangiau

Link for One-Click Action:
http://www.forefrontleaders.org/action/floribert/vsv-action.htm

Action Requested: Emails to President Kabila and ambassadors

Please take action before: June 10, 2000

Forefront requests your assistance with the following urgent situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):

Since Tuesday, May 23, authorities in the DRC are attempting to arrest Mr.
Floribert Chebeya and the staff of the human rights organization La Voix des
sans Voix (VSV). Since this order the whereabouts of Mr. Chebeya and his are
unknown, raising fears about their safety. Their offices also remain sealed
and reportedly the phone line has been diverted to military security
offices.

These threats of arrest follow a Monday May 22, 2000, press conference
hosted by VSV about the current human rights situation in the country, and
are consistent with a steady pattern of threats, physical attacks and
detention of Mr. Chebeya and VSV staff members by the government.

Suggested language:

May 26, 2000

President Laurent-Dsir Kabila
Presidence de la Republique
Kinshasa-Ngaliema
Republique Democratique du Congo

By Email: UPP@ic.cd

Dear President Kabila,

I am writing to express grave concern about the recent acts of harassment of
Mr. Floribert Chebeya and the staff of La Voix des sans Voix (VSV).

I understand that on 22 May 2000, the Government of the Democratic Republic
of Congo have been trying to arrest Mr. Chebeya and the staff of VSV
following a press conference held on Monday, 22 May 2000. Since the threats
of arrest began on Tuesday, May 23, the whereabouts of Mr. Chebeya and his
staff remain unknown, raising fears about their safety. Their offices also
remain closed and the phone line reportedly has been diverted to military
security offices.

This is not the first time that the staff of VSV has been subjected to acts
of persecution by the government including threats, arbitrary detention, and
torture.

I urge you to take all necessary measures to:

· Rescind the arrest order against Mr. Chebeya and the staff of La Voix des
sans Voix;
· Guarantee the safety of the staff and the free operation of the VSV
office; and
· Cease further acts of persecution against human rights defenders in the
Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

CC: Ambassador Faida Mitifu
Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo
1800 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20009
Fax: (202) 237-0748

Dr. André Mwamba Kapanga
Ambassadeur Extraordinaire et Plénipotentiaire
Représentent Permanent
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 511

New York, NY 10017
Fax: 212-319-8232

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FOREFRONT: A Global Network

of Young Human Rights Advocates

FOREFRONT is an international advocacy and support network serving leading
young human rights activists. FOREFRONT strengthens the work of grassroots
human rights advocates by facilitating the exchange of information, skills,
and technology and providing technical assistance. The network is comprised
of 60 leaders, ages 17-40, working in 26 countries and representing nearly
50 non-governmental organizations.

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Lesley Carson
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FOREFRONT
333 7th Avenue, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10001
tel:(212) 845-5273
fax: (212) 253-4244
e-mail: forefront@forefrontleaders.org
web: http://www.forefrontleaders.org

__________________________________

FOREFRONT: A Global Network
of Young Human Rights Advocates

FOREFRONT is an international advocacy and support network serving leading
young human rights activists. FOREFRONT strengthens the work of grassroots
human rights advocates by facilitating the exchange of information, skills,
and technology and providing technical assistance. The network is comprised
of 60 leaders, ages 17-40, working in 26 countries and representing nearly
50 non-governmental organizations.

Help us free Phuntsok Nyidron and the Drapchi 12!
http://www.forefrontleaders.org/freedom/phuntsok/phuntsok-action.php3

Lesley Carson
Director
FOREFRONT
333 7th Avenue, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10001
tel:(212) 845-5273
fax: (212) 253-4244
e-mail: forefront@forefrontleaders.org
web: http://www.forefrontleaders.org